🎵 Finest Hour — The Radio Dept.
The concept of the Finest Hour playlist is to distill a favorite band’s discography into an hour of music (or as close to an hour as reasonably possible). It’s a bit of a challenge trying to do a “greatest hits” style playlist within the time constraints and with the right sequencing. The idea was taken from Adam Wood.
Swedish indie band The Radio Dept. has always been mysterious and mercurial. You can compare their early days to early period Belle and Sebastian, when little was known about the bands, and they wanted it that way. For another comparison point to B&S, listen to “You’re Looking At My Guy,” the final track included here. The Radio Dept. are at once sometimes poppy with a trace of twee (see “Bachelor Kisses”) and also intensely political (see “Death to Fascism,” “Swedish Guns”). They are known for fights with their record label. How often does that happen in the world of independent music?
I had the rare opportunity to see the Radio Dept. play a few years ago, and it was one of the most memorable shows I’ve been to — though that may have to do with the recency effect and my aging brain. One thing that stuck out to me was how they almost sounded industrial when playing the political songs listed above. It gave me a new conception of the band and made me wish they would explore that territory a bit more.
I hope I’ve given you some good tracks here with which to explore one of the most influential bands in Swedish indie pop. Enjoy!